According to the recent news update, it was confirmed on Monday that North Korea has test-launched an intermediate level ballistic missile that is also capable of reaching Guam, a U.S. territory. It is now regarded as the most significant weapon launched in North in years, as Washington plans to step towards showing their commitment to Asian allies.
The launch of ballistic missile can be a bigger prelude to provocations set by North Korea such as long-range missile and nuclear tests which can pose a direct threat to the U.S. mainland. As a result, the North tries to further pressurize Biden administration for winning the sanction relief because of international recognition that can serve as a legitimate nuclear state.
The official Korean Central News Agency said, “the purpose of the test was verifying the overall accuracy of the Hwasong-12 missile that is being deployed in its military.”
As per Lee Choon Geun, who is also a renowned expert in weapons and missiles and also serving as the honorary research fellow at the South Korea’s Science and Technology Policy Institute, thinks that the photos are taken from the space particularly when the missile was soaring to its apogee. However, he cannot independently verify that there was no adjustment on the images. He added, “North Korea likely wanted to demonstrate its technological advancement to both foreign and domestic audiences.”
It is believed that the maximum range of the nuclear capable Hwasong-12 missile is 4500 kilometers (2,800 miles) when fired from the standard launch trajectory. In addition, the proposed range is also sufficient to hit Guam, as the U.S. Pacific territory which was threatened by North Korea to target with the enveloping fire in the year 2017. “Even if Washington had the bandwidth to pay more attention to the North Korean nuclear issue, Pyongyang would likely continue to refuse direct talks because of the pandemic, keep perfecting its weapons technology, and maintain its high price tag for talks,” said Duyeon Kim, an analyst at Washington’s Center for a New American Security.